Contractors , Communication and Respect
Part 1 contained information about how to find your contractor. Now we’re going to discuss what happens next.
First Meeting and Follow-up
Meetings with contractors should include the major decision-maker(s) when the appointments are scheduled, because communication, compatibility and respect are important parts of the working relationship.
When contractors come to your home for the first time, it should be during daylight hours, if possible, so they can see details inside and out that may affect your project. You may have to accommodate a very early morning appointment, or you may have to take time away from work for the meeting. They will want to see your electrical panel and other utility connections, in addition to seeing all areas adjacent to the areas you’re planning to remodel or add. They may want to quickly inspect the attic and crawl space (or basement); problems in these areas could also affect your investment. (more…)
Remodeling Horror Story: Trick Or Treat?
The title of this blog is seasonal, but unfortunately, a “Trick or Treat” remodeling horror story happens year ’round. It’s not limited to one type of remodeling project. Here is a remodeling “horror” story list, bad experiences that were avoidable:
- A D-I-Y basement renovation that got out of hand.
- A master bathroom project that was totally bungled by a designer who acted as the general contractor.
- A D-I-Y master bedroom expansion into an adjoining bedroom; taking out a bearing wall is a NO-NO!
- A bad deck replacement done by an unlicensed contractor that left the Homeowners with no legal recourse.
- A new home that had all of the hot and cold lines swapped by the plumber.
- A D-I-Y floor refinishing project that ended up with the floor being replaced after the sanding drum was installed backwards, chewing up the floor.
- Homeowners who had purchased appliances ten years before the actual remodeling, and ended up donating the appliances because they wouldn’t fit in the new kitchen.
Your Contractor Wants You To Find Him/Her!
The best way to find your contractor is referrals — from neighbors, friends, family, or business associates. These are your best resources, especially people who’ve remodeled recently. You can also get referrals from the showrooms you’ve visited. Don’t rely on advertisements. They can be misleading. You’ll be better off to contact your local professional remodeling organizations (NAHB, NARI, or NKBA) for several names and phone numbers. Most local building departments will not refer contractors. It’s a conflict of interest.
Two Warnings About Referrals:
- Don’t hire a one-person contractor who says he/she does everything. An unforeseen family emergency, illness or injury can ruin time projections. There aren’t enough hours in the day for a general contractor to draw plans, manufacture cabinets, and work on your project. Overall quality of your project will suffer.
A Professional Designer Will Help you In Many Ways
The right professional designer knows where to find the products that reflect your personal taste, products that are compatible with your home. He or she can help you fit each product into your budget priorities. Designers like this do make a difference. How do you find the right designer for your project?
The best way to find a professional designer is referrals from family, business associates, friends, and neighbors. The next best way is through professional organizations such as NAHB, NARI, IDS, or NKBA. There may also be local design organizations, or local chapters of the national organizations that you can find in an internet search. Tell them the type of remodeling project you want, and they will provide names and contact information for up to three professional designers.
You can contact the designers by phone or through an email message. Provide detailed information about what you want to achieve, how much you want to invest, and when you want your project completed. Here’s an example: (more…)
Improve An Ugly Basement With A Beautiful New Bathroom!
This is a home built in the 1950s, with the living room, formal dining room, kitchen, small bathroom, and bedrooms on the main floor. Only one person could occupy the bathroom at a time. For a family of three, that presented a scheduling problem. There wasn’t enough room to expand the existing bathroom, and the full basement was under-utilized,. The Homeowners wondered if it would be possible to have a new basement bathroom with a two-person shower that looked and felt luxurious. They had an idea, had done some research, and had talked with a couple of contractors, but they were still confused about what to do.
The best location for the new bathroom was below the main-floor bathroom, so plumbing supply, drain, and vent pipes could be extended.The unfinished basement had enough space to comply with ceiling height codes, but there was a large furnace duct that hung below the bottom of the joists. If left like this, it was going to look awkward. An HVAC specialist verified that new wider and shallower ducts would maintain the required air flow. Most pipes and wires wouldn’t be a problem, but the main drain had to be re-routed so it would comply with the slope required by the plumbing code. (more…)
A Monochromatic Color Scheme Can Be Many Things — Except Boring!
People may think that a monochromatic color scheme is boring. After all, it’s only one color. Yes, it’s one color, but it includes the darkest shade to the lightest tint of the same hue. For a monochromatic color scheme to be effective, there should also be contrast in texture, smooth to very rough. Every color in the world can be the basis for a monochromatic color scheme. Color psychology has been studied for hundreds of years.
Have you ever wondered how paint manufacturers come up with the color names? It’s amazing! Most of the major manufacturers have in excess of 2,000 color options. There are very few colors that have the same names from one company to another. It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy. The names are supposed to make us feel positive about the color, and the manufacturer. No one in their right mind would select a color if its name was “Baby Poop”! Here’s a very short explanation about how professionals describe colors: (more…)